By Steven Enatu
The leaders and stake holders in Teso Sub Region have embraced the Teso environment run, an initiative of Teso Karamoja Media Agency and its partners like Tan Media to conserve the environment.
As part of its planned activities that include dinner events and car wash to mobilize resources, leaders and stakeholders have agreed to contribute in various ways in an effort geared towards raising funds to support the tree planting activities in schools and institutions across Teso. The Teso Environment run is scheduled to take place on the 19th March 2022.
While speaking to this Website, James Oluka, the programs coordinator TEKAMA said the campaign is meant to restore the green cover of Teso, create awareness in the community in regards to environment protection and conserve the green cover in Teso for Five years after which, it shall be reviewed.
The Teso Environment run is a precursor of the environment campaign initiative with kits being sold at 25000shs for adults and 15,000shs for kids both vest and a cap.
TEKAMA expects to use funds raised in its fundraiser drive to establish woodlots in schools, develop a climate master plan for Teso Sub region which shall guide where and what effort should be put at a specific area. Other planned projects include the establishment of environment clubs in schools.
“We want the culture of growing trees to be instilled in children from schools and also restore some endangered species of trees like Shea nut tree, tamarind tree,” Oluka noted.
The project that is intended to run for five years will also incorporate the component of solid waste segregation training by experts in the field in major urban cities in Teso and promote alternative energy sources to avoid use of fuel wood that endangers trees within the environment.
As a leader, Bob Owiny the District Councilor representing Tubur in Soroti District Local government implored the general public to embrace the campaign towards restoration of the environment.
He said currently many swamps, forests have been encroached on and tempered with which has caused a negative impact on environment like the weather and the rain patterns.
“I call upon people in Teso and outside Teso to join hands to mobilize resources to buy these seedlings to plant, to open these environment clubs in schools, and proper solid waste management in urban settings,” he said.
Owiny is hopeful that the initiative shall be a base upon which District councils can be influenced to come up with ordinances and ratify bylaws across all Districts in Teso in relation to environment and tree planting.
“For example we can say every child born, you plant 10 trees so as a child you grow knowing that you have 50 tree seedlings to keep or for any traditional marriage that takes place, your in-laws come with trees and plant, the district councils can come up with motions that support this course,” he said.
Jessica Sheila Aanyu, the Chief Executive Officer Miss Tourism Teso who happens to be the partner in the Campaign will carry on with a dinner as a way to raise funds towards the course. She said Miss Tourism Teso is going to organize a dinner on the 4th of March in Kampala and 19th March in Soroti.
During the dinner, people shall contribute towards funding the activities related to environment conservation as planned by TEKAMA and its partners.
“The environment here is really hot and the trees are few, characterized by endangered species that we need to preserve. This climate change is affecting everybody and we need to begin at home,” she said.
Deforestation and forest degradation continue to take place at alarming rates, which contributes significantly to the ongoing loss of biodiversity. This undermines the Sustainable Development Goals to be met by 2030 unless dramatic changes occur in the agroforestry, agribusiness and agriculture sectors.
World leaders promised during the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference to end and reverse deforestation by 2030 but this takes a concerted effort from all human beings regardless of one’s social or economic status as climate issues are enormous and affect all human beings.